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Court Decision on Travel Ban May Make Trump's "Muslim Registry" Easier

“Closing our eyes to the real and ascertainable harms of discrimination inevitably leads to morning-after regret.”

By Maryam Saleh

MORE THAN 100 million citizens of eight countries are now banned, to varying degrees, from traveling to the United States, thanks to a minor procedural ruling from the Supreme Court on Monday. Legal scholars caution that the decision is not necessarily an indication of how the justices will rule on President Donald Trump’s travel ban should it come before them for a hearing on its merits, but it is nonetheless part of a long history of U.S. courts approving government policies of dubious constitutionality that disproportionately target Muslims as national security threats.

“What happened at the Supreme Court is not distinct,” said Khaled Beydoun, a professor at University of Detroit Mercy Law School and author of the forthcoming book “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear.”

Justice, at the Supreme Court level, is not blind. “An Orientalist or Islamophobic baseline that ties Muslim identity to the presumption of a national security threat is something that’s informed American policy and U.S. court decisions specifically,” Beydoun said.

The third version of Trump’s travel ban – a September proclamation that targets citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen – was struck down by federal district courts and is currently before the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal.

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